Mississippi Church Burns Down a Month after Suing over COVID-19 Restrictions

The Marshall County Sheriff's Office is investigating a church fire in Holly Springs as arson. The church was destroyed in the fire. | Source WMC

The Marshall County Sheriff's Office is investigating a church fire in Holly Springs as arson. The church was destroyed in the fire. | Source WMC

First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs, Mississippi was engulfed in flames on Wednesday in what is believed to be an act of arson, Fox 13 reports. The church also filed a lawsuit against the city in April.

Investigators found graffiti on pavement in the church parking lot that reads, "Bet you stay home now you hypokrits (sic)".

Gov. Tate Reeves addressed the incident Thursday, saying he was "heartbroken" and "furious".

In a blistering opinion filed last week in response to the lawsuit, Judge Michael Mills wrote that he feared that the church was "proceeding in an excessively reckless and cavalier manner and with insufficient respect for the enormity of the health crisis which the COVID-19 pandemic presents". "We need prayer for this country". "But if this is in fact what it looks like, I want you to know that we're going to do everything in our power to find whoever burned this church down". "I'm committed to that. and I know that the people of MS are committed to that".

MS investigators found the words "Bet you stay home now you hypokrits" spray-painted on the parking lot of a Holly Springs church that burned down early Wednesday morning, a month after the church had legally challenged the city's stay-at-home orders. Additionally, the suit notes that police interrupted a mid-week Bible study and the church's Easter service.

The governor's safer-at-home order, which is set to expire Monday, allows churches to operate as essential businesses, but it limits the size of indoor gatherings.

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Crampton noted in a statement that there is "a growing hostility towards churches" such as First Pentecostal who are pushing back against lockdown orders, Fox News reports.

Churchgoers practiced social distancing while indoors and only held indoor services when bad weather would not allow them to gather outside, the lawsuit said.

Stephen Crampton, attorney for the church, told WMC that he has no doubt that the fire was connected to the lawsuit.

While Pastor Waldrop remains unsure as to who started the church fire, he asserted that the church will be rebuilt.

Local state and federal agencies are investigating the fire.

The burning of a church in northern MS this week is being investigated as arson because of a spray-painted message at the scene that seemed to criticize the church's defiance of coronavirus restrictions. She's an alum of Kennesaw State University and enjoys watching reruns of "Martin" and other classic sitcoms. We don't know anyone that we even think could be capable of doing something like this'. Also a lover of all things dessert.

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